So how good is Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter aircraft? Analysis from RUSI think-tank’s Justin Bronk
Created in China, perhaps based on an Russian idea, the JF-17 is solely in service with the Pakistan Air Force. Comparable in thrust and weight levels to the Swedish Gripen, the JF-17 is an intriguing design, but how effective is it? We asked Justin Bronk, from the Royal United Services Institute for his opinion.
Click here to read an interview with a JF-17 pilot.
“The JF-17 as an airframe is certainly competitive with the F-16, being slightly aerodynamically cleaner, with a lower wing loading but a less efficient engine than the F-16s latest F110-GE-129/132 engine options. In terms of pilot interface, sensor suite and weapon flexibility, the JF-17 is roughly at a par with 1990s-vintage F-16 Block 40/42 and could be close to the USAF-standard Block 50/52, although without the conformal fuel tanks, JHMCS helmet sighting system and radar upgrades which distinguish the later Block 50/52+ and AESA which equips the UAE’s Block 60/61s.”
How would you rate the JF-17 in terms of within-visual range (WVR) and beyond-visual range (BVR) fighter capabilities?
“WVR, equipped with the MAA-1 Piranha missile, the small and agile JF-17 will be a dangerous but not exactly world-beating opponent for existing fourth generation fighters. It is limited to +8/-3g and the current block 1 and 2 fighters do not yet have a helmet mounted sight system as standard (this is promised for block 3). The JF-17 also doesn’t have a greater than 1:1 thrust to weight ratio so would be at a significant disadvantage in terms of energy management against opponents such as the F-15C, Typhoon or Su-35. BVR, the KLJ-7 radar is significantly out-ranged by the F-16’s AN/APG-68 and completely outclassed by the Rafale’s AESA array, Typhoon’s CAPTOR-M and the Su-35’s monstrously powerful Irbis-E. The JF-17s small wing area and lightweight also limit its missile-carrying capacity which further disadvantages it in BVR engagements. However, it is worth remembering that the JF-17 is not really intended to take on Typhoons, Rafales, F-15s or Su-35s. It is meant to be a cheap and cheerful light multirole fighter and configured accordingly.”
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Being such a young fighter jet and having the service record it already has, it has an immense potential!
And what about pilot of JF 17
Jf-17 is medium range jet .in recent war it had proof of its quality, shootdown 2 indian jets. Inside occupied terrority succesfuly IAF still wondering.
The design of a fighter aircraft is determined by the operational requirements of the missions required which depend on the intended enemy air force and air defenses….
So why compare capabilities with European Fighters when the mostly likely opponent is the IAF flying Su-30MKI and MiG-21…?